Crazy, miraculous changes happen to a woman when she is pregnant. Other than the obvious body changes and newfound aches and pains, suddenly her abdomen becomes community property and perfect strangers feel it’s okay to walk right up and discuss the pregnancy. Everyday some new stranger stops her to a) ask her how much longer she has, b) predict the sex, or (my favorite) c) tell her how huge she is.
I actually consider myself lucky this time around, because less people are touching me and guessing the gender (which was the number one annoyance last go around, and now I become nostalgic when people ask), but I have the pleasure/horror of at least five people telling me how big or huge I am, daily.
It happens in a number of ways. The most common instance is when someone like a store clerk asks me with trepid excitement how much longer I have or when I’m due. I can tell they want me to say tomorrow. Instead, I smile and say, mid-October. And then it happens. They smile in disbelief, shock or horror. If there are others in line (like there were on Tuesday), I can see them gasp and gape from the corner of my eye. Then I say, don’t worry, there’s two in there, as I turn and smile at the onlookers and everyone does a nervous chuckle and then someone inevitably remarks at how blessed I am.
I know everyone just means to be kind and they’re simply trying to process it in their minds, but I know how big my belly is. I’m well aware of it every single day.
When I’m on my feet, it makes me sit.
When I’m walking, it makes me slow down.
When I’m climbing stairs, it makes me use the handrail and very obviously pull myself up.
When I’m cooking, it makes me stand much to far from the flame so that I wished I had go-go gadget arms.
When I’m sleeping, it keeps me up when they move; it wakes me up when I need to do a ten-point turn to switch the side I’m laying on; and it pulls me out of dreams when I need to get up and use the facilities because the babies are getting that big.
When I’m sleeping, it keeps my husband awake with all the heat my body radiates, even without covers on.
When I’m getting ready, it makes me sit every few minutes.
When I’m up, it calls for me to lie down.
Basically, I can’t win.
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a good chuckle with my friends about the size of my belly. We laugh at how huge it is, and how there are still 9 more weeks to go. Then I ask how am I supposed to get any bigger?
That’s usually when the laughing dies down.
We’re all scared.